Amounting to a century of life and service to the community and of musical trips of the mind and the soul, the Cyprus Police Band has added another dimension to the image and the role of the police throughout the years. Since its establishment, the Band has come across many difficulties. However, the strong desire and insistence of its members to achieve their aim led to the existence of a Band, which receives the most complimentary remarks whenever and wherever it participates in various functions or events. This participation contributes greatly to the strengthening of the relationship between the public and the police. The presence of the Cyprus Police Band at social, charity or national events, is a bridge of communication between citizens and the Police.
The Cyprus Police Band was first set up in 1900, with A. Josephen being its first conductor. In 1924 Josephen was succeeded by Adzelo De Anna, who kept this office until 1929, when the Band stopped playing. After 6 years of silence, in September 1935, B.W.S. Cox, the ex-conductor of the Band of Sherwood Foresters, was put in charge. Initially the band had 25 members, but in 1936 they increased to 30.
The members were not fully trained musicians, but they did have the desire and determination to improve. The experience that most members had was limited and the result of their participation in school and municipal bands. The instruments they used were old, of German, Italian and French origin. Some members had limited musical training and few knew the keys of "fa" and "do", which are necessary for military bands. Learning musical terms in English was one of the basic problems that the band had to overcome at the beginning. Moreover, there was difficulty in acquiring the proper instruments and the Band was thus obliged to borrow some. However, neither this obstacle nor all others managed to lower the members’ morale.
Because of the members’ strong desire and the conductor’s competence, the Band made great strides. In December 1935, when it made its first public appearances, it gained praise, while gradually, by 1936, the European musical terms, which had seemed to be strange before, had become fully comprehensible. In 1937, the conductor of the Royal School of Music, Lient H. B. Atkins visited Cyprus. The Police Band played under his direction and his comments were particularly complimentary, referring to it as one of the best bands in the Middle East.
The Band continued to improve and by 1940, when it was obliged to suspend its activities because of World War II, it was considered to be one of the best bands on the island. During this period the members of the Band had to undertake other tasks as telephone operators and guards.
In 1943, the Band’s Conductor B.W.S. Cox left and during the official functions of that period, the Band was conducted by the Sergeant Major Banzamian, while in 1946 G. Hardy, the ex-conductor of the Riflemen Brigade Band took over. Four years later however, he gave up his duties because of health problems.
Subsequently, A.G.O., Connor became the conductor and remained at that post for nine consecutive years until the establishment of the Cyprus Republic in 1960. Since then, all conductors have been Greek Cypriots. The first one was Frixos Georgiou who was succeeded in 1976 by Michalakis Elia. In 1998 Chief Inspector Efstathios Papaevriviades took over and served for six years. The following conductor was Mr. Konstantinos Kirkos who was succeeded by Mr. Georgos Adamou in 2004.
The Band consists of 30-35 male and female members. Almost half of its members come from the National Guard Military Band which constitutes, in a way, a training centre for wind instrument players. The Band is very active – making approximately 180 appearances per year and attending a wide range of social, charity and national events.